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Just like an Iceberg it’s what you can’t see that causes the trouble
Why It's Important To Have Full Mouth Radiographs
We believe taking full mouth dental radiographs as part of our routine dental teeth cleaning procedure is good medicine. There is a huge difference between what you can see with the naked eye and what a dental radiograph can reveal. It’s like looking at the tip of an iceberg, then trying to guess how big the iceberg is or how deep it goes. A dental radiograph completes the picture and helps us find problems with your pet’s teeth before they become a painful experience. Since we’ve started taking full mouth dental radiographs, we’ve found more periodontal disease problems. Simply put, even when the teeth we can see look healthy, we’re still finding significant problems.
So, just like your human dentist who recommends regular full mouth radiographs, we do too. We think it’s even more important for pets since they can’t talk. Instead, they can only give us clues when there’s a problem in their mouth. They take longer to eat, they might become picky about their food, avoiding hot or cold or hard food. They might have really bad breath. They might even become less active or avoid playing with their favorite chew toys. Another clue we look for is a pet that is losing weight – it’s just too painful for them to chew and swallow
Dental radiographs are one of the most important diagnostic tools available to a veterinary dentist. They allow the internal anatomy of the teeth, the roots and the bone that surrounds the roots to be examined.
Digital radiography has the advantages over conventional film radiographs in that it uses approximately 1/3 of x-radiation to create the image, the ability to enlarge the image to see small changes, increase or decrease contrast to help small lesions show up better, archival of images on a hard drive or back-up disc, easy retrieval, and the ability to print the images for client education. Digital radiographs are also quicker to take and develop. Usually a radiograph of an area can be “developed” within 2-3 seconds, where dental film radiographs take generally two or three minute each.